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Early College High School Publications and Other Resources



ECHSI Publications


Early College: Case Studies and General Interest


Accelerating College Readiness: Lessons from North Carolina's Innovator Early Colleges (2011)

By Cecilia Le and Jill Frankfort

 Half of all states have at least one early college, but North Carolina leads the nation with 71 early colleges, each located on the campus of a partnering higher education institution. With the support of the North Carolina New Schools Project, a public-private organization that develops innovative high schools, North Carolina now has the most early colleges of any state and substantial data about what works.

     This brief explores the lessons and best practices from five of North Carolina's early colleges based on their highly effective strategies to prepare all students for postsecondary education.  Three of the Innovators (Anson County Early College, Buncombe County Early College, and Davidson County Early College) are among the state’s first early colleges and offer five years of lessons in preparing high school students for college rigor. The other two Innovator schools, Vance County Early College and Warren Early College, opened in the 2008 school year and offer emerging examples of practices that accelerate the academic progress of all students.

 



Accelerating Learning for All (2006)

By Nancy Hoffman and Katie Bayerl
“Accelerated learning options,” including early college high schools, push students to go further and faster. This brief introduces the rationale for accelerated learning and its potential for helping young people make a smooth transition into college. With the Early College High School Initiative only a few years old, and other accelerated learning options expanding rapidly, it is too soon to declare that challenge not remediation is the way for schools to go if we want more college graduates and better lives for our young people. But preliminary data from the initiative are promising, and thousands of high school students who never thought they’d attend college are well on their way to a college degree.



Advancing Literacy: Building Capacity for Success in Early College High Schools (2006)

Advancing Literacy describes the Kellogg/Early College High School Literacy Project, which supports ECHS partners and schools in addressing their students’ literacy needs. The project was developed because many of the young people targeted by early college high schools—first-generation college-goers and other students underrepresented in colleges—may not be ready to move quickly into college courses without developing the literacy skills necessary to access and understand rigorous academic content.
 


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College Credit in High School: Increasing Postsecondary Credential Rates of Underrepresented Students (2003)

By Nancy Hoffman
This article in
Change magazine addresses the multiple, often fragmented, high school reforms intended to increase college access. The expansion of opportunities for high school students to earn college credit underscores progress in creating a seamless education system, from kindergarten through college. Fortunately, programs for college credit in high school are no longer limited to elite schools, and students from a wide range of backgrounds and with diverse accomplishments are showing that the academic challenge of college courses is an inspiration not a barrier. The question then is the degree to which these opportunities will increase the number of young people gaining a college diploma or other postsecondary credential—especially students for whom access to higher education remains limited.



Community Engagement in ECHS (2004)

Prepared by JFF for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, this report establishes a context for and emerging efforts to engage institutions of higher education, school districts and community stakeholders in developing early college high schools. The report reviews approaches to community engagement from three intermediary organizations. Each intermediary has initiated evaluation activities to assess the degree and impact of their community engagement activities. This report looks at early evidence of the impact of each approach.



Early College Designs (2012)

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Early College High School: Modest Experiment or National Movement? (2009). Education Week. (2012) Nancy Hoffman and Michael Webb describe how early college is proving that low-income students, students of color, and first generation college-goers not only can do college-level work, but can also do it early and earn substantial transferrable college credits, just like suburban and private school kids with access to Advanced Placement and dual enrollment programs.


Early College High School: Opportunity for a Lifetime (2007)

Early College High Schools: Opportunity for a Lifetime, prepared by Public Interest and Jobs for the Future, features schools in Los Angeles, California; Brooklyn, New York; and Spindale, North Carolina. In this inspiring, seven-minute video, students tell the story of how early college high schools motivate young people to stay in school, work hard, and meet serious intellectual challenges. If you would like a DVD of Early College High Schools: Opportunity for a Lifetime, please contact earlycolleges@jff.org



Early College Students Surprise with their Poise and Achievements (2009)

Stan Silverman, dean of the University of Akron’s Summit College in Ohio, gives his perspective on the college’s partnership with the Akron Public Schools. Akron Early College High School, based at Summit College, serves historically underserved high school students. Students are on campus early in their high school experience so that the University of Akron becomes as familiar to them as their neighborhood, thus easing the eventual transition to college. This article is reprinted from the University of Akron, “Perspectives from the Provost,” www.uakron.edu/edigest/index.php?id=1385.


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ECHS: Requisites for Success (2004)

By Janet E. Lieberman
Over three decades ago, Janet E. Lieberman conceived of the idea of Middle College, a model which places high schools on college campuses. This concept contributed directly to the idea of early college high school, which goes a step further, blending high school education and the first years of college. Dr. Lieberman discusses the connection between high school and college education and how it can inform efforts to scale up early college high schools across the nation.



Empowering Students: How GCEC Changes Student Aspirations (2008)

Housed in the Georgia College & State University School of Education,
Georgia College Early College offers hope of a brighter future to its
students and their families in its rural community. This case study examines
how GCEC achieves its mission of college success for all. The college-going
culture, small class sizes, and the adults and college students who work
with the school’s students enable these young people to believe in
themselves as learners, achieve academically and socially, and raise their
aspirations.



Ensuring College Success: Scaffolding Experiences for Students and Faculty in an Early College School (2008)

The Science, Technology and Research Early College School, working closely with Brooklyn College—a partnership that has been supported by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation since 2003—has amassed an impressive record in its first five years. STAR’s successful early outcomes are the result of the ambitious goals and careful planning of the school and its partners. The key to the design is a multiyear transition plan that gradually introduces students to college-going experiences and the demands of college coursework, while providing a wide variety of supports tailored to individual needs. Ensuring College Success is a joint publication of Jobs for the Future and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.


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From Hope to Belief (2010) Educational Leadership. (2012) Nancy Hoffman and Michael Webb describe how early college schools give students who appear to be at an academic disadvantage confidence – and college credits.


Improving Access to Postsecondary Education Through Early College High Schools (2009)

This report from the Council of State Governments highlights the early college movement as gaining momentum toward preparing enough Americans for college success to remain competitive in the global economy. The United States, the report notes, needs more than 15 million more college graduates by 2025 to equal the degree attainment in top-performing countries.



Innovations in College Readiness: How Early College Schools Are Preparing Students Underrepresented in Higher Education for College Success (2009)

Innovations in College Readiness describes a young national effort—the Early College High School Initiative—that in seven years has made headway in contesting those trends. The initiative has done so by focusing on the same challenge President Obama enunciated: getting more students prepared for and successfully completing postsecondary education. Through the creation of 201 early college high schools in 24 states, the initiative reaches students who typically fall through the cracks between America’s system of K-12 schools and its system of postsecondary education: low-income youth, first-generation college goers, English language learners, students of color, and other young people underrepresented in higher education. In a bold approach, early college schools, as they are also called, engage these students in a rigorous and supportive educational program that enables them to succeed in college classes before they graduate from high school.


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It's Kind of Different: Student Experiences in Two Early College High Schools (2012)


Learning by Degree: Real-Life Stories from Three Early College High Schools (2006)

By KnowledgeWorks Foundation
Experience a day in the life of students and teachers at Toledo Early College High School, Lorain County Early College High School, and Dayton Early College Academy. They’re stories of triumph and frustration, progress, and setbacks. Told by writers who observed the schools first-hand throughout the 2005-06 school year, they capture the reality behind the statistics, reports, and debate to reveal how new approaches to high school education are touching lives.



Life Beyond Early College: Strategies for Success (webinar) (2012)

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Making the Grade: Texas Early College High Schools Prepare Students for College (2011)

By Jobs for the Future

Across the state of Texas, 10,000 students attend 44 early college high schools and 5 T-STEM (Texas Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) schools. The schools are improving student outcomes, and this performance is being achieved by youth who are underrepresented in college, including Hispanic youth, economically disadvantaged students, and first-generation college goers. Early college schools have become an essential part of Texas' strategy to develop a young workforce that can compete in a global, knowledge-based economy. The benefits to taxpayers of having more students progress toward college completion makes the state's support for starting up these sustainable schools a prudent move.

     This brief studies the successes and lessons of two Texas early colleges: Mission Early College High School in El Paso and Collegiate High School in Corpus Christi.

 



Rigor Plus Support: How Science Teachers Use Literacy Techniques to Get Students Ready for College (2007)

By Katie Bayerl
The leaders and faculty of early college high schools are constantly working to develop the right mix of academic supports that make an accelerated curriculum feasible and ensure college success for every student. By focusing on a few good literacy practices in every class, early college high school faculty aim to increase rigor and support—simultaneously. This report highlights three early college high school science teachers who have crafted approaches to addressing literacy in a science classroom. These practices build students’ skills in reading, writing, and thinking, and they also increase their understanding of science content and support their ability to think and solve problems like scientists.

Interactive Science Composition Book
Interactive Notebook Rubric



Student Information System: Frequently Asked Questions (2005)

JFF has developed the Student Information System for the Early College High School Initiative. The SIS is a tool for initiative partners—including schools, intermediaries, funders, and other stakeholders—to use in supporting continuous school development and improvement. It also will provide help in measuring long-term outcomes, including the attainment by ECHS graduates of four-year college degrees.


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Teaching in the Early College High School Initiative (2006)

By Marcia Glick

When Dr. Marcia Glick of LaGuardia Community College began a partnership with the Early College High School Initiative in 2002, “I had a number of questions about the viability of including secondary students in the postsecondary classroom,” she writes. “Could the high school adolescents adapt to the college environment? Would they be able to ‘fit in’ and become college freshmen?” In this article, she addresses these and other questions. The bottom line: “Can Early College students excel in the college classroom? Yes.”



Unconventional Wisdom: A Profile of the Graduates of Early College High School (2011)
By Michael Webb and Lia Mayka

For many young people, early college high schools are opening the door to higher education and better-paying careers. The 230 early college schools serve more than 50,000 students in 28 states, targeting groups that are underrepresented in higher education. These students and the schools they attend are refuting the conventional wisdom that such young people cannot complete high school on time and be prepared for success in college.

     This report examines characteristics of the 2007, 2008, and 2009 early college graduating classes. It focuses on early college schools and programs that have been open for four or more years, including some schools that are “conversions” (i.e., they were open before becoming early colleges and underwent restructuring to implement an early college design). Students have had the opportunity to enroll in these early college schools for at least four years, from ninth through twelfth grade. The students in each graduating year are referred to as four-year graduating cohorts.

 



Using Non-Cognitive Assessments to Help Underserved Students Transition to College (2010)

In May 2010, during the second annual Early College High School Week, Jobs for the Future hosted a webinar to explore the use of assessments of non-cognitive abilities to enhance college persistence for students in danger of dropping out. Non-cognitive abilities are certain behaviors and attitudes—such as educational commitment and resiliency—that are distinct from the traditional verbal and quantitative areas that ability tests or achievement tests are designed to measure.

Click here to download a summary of the webinar.

Click here to download the PowerPoint presentation from the webinar.


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Early College: School Development Resources


Benchmarks for Early College High Schools (2005)

Developed collaboratively by the early college high initiative partners, this tool for planning, improvement, and teaching establishes a set of ideals to which all early college high schools strive. The rubric helps partner organizations, school leaders, and postsecondary partners evaluate their progress and identify areas for improvement.



College Success for All: How the Hidalgo Independent School District Is Adopting Early College as a District-wide Strategy (2010)

By Thad Nodine

The Hidalgo Independent School District in Texas has raised the bar on what it means for a school system to focus on college readiness. College Success for All tells the story of how Hidalgo ISD, located in one of the most economically depressed metropolitan areas with one of the lowest number of college-educated adults, is preparing all of its students to earn college credits while in high school. Hidalgo ISD serves a student body that is 99.5 percent Hispanic, 90 percent economically disadvantaged, and 53 percent limited English proficient. Preliminary data shows enviable results: This past June, more than 95 percent of the Class of 2010 graduated with college credits. Two-thirds of the graduating seniors had earned at least a full semester of credit for a college degree.

     College Success for All describes how Hidalgo ISD took the early college concept and adopted it as a district-wide strategy: By embedding a college and career culture and focus in everyday activities, from elementary school through middle school and into high school, the school system now motivates and prepares all of its students for success in higher education. This strategy, combined with the establishment of strong postsecondary partnerships with South Texas College,Texas State Technical College, and University of Texas-Pan American, more rigorous course sequencing, and high-quality career pathways has been a recipe for success.



Designing and Financing an Integrated Program of Study: Lessons from the California Academy of Liberal Studies (2004)

By Susan Goldberger and Leslie Haynes
This brief examines how the
California Academy for Liberal Studies  and its college partner, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, are addressing a critical design challenge: how to structure and finance an integrated sequence of college study in which students earn up to two years of transferable college credit. CALS is supported by the National Council of La Raza, an intermediary organization working to create 12 early college high schools that serve Latino communities.


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Designing STEM Pathways Through Early College (2011)

By Charlotte North
Improving student performance in the “STEM fields”—science, technology, engineering, and math—is a major focus for education reformers. With the rise of STEM-themed schools nationwide, JFF has profiled Metro Early College High School in Columbus, Ohio, an example of how one community has integrated a STEM focus with an Early College Design to support students’ transition from high school to a college STEM program. Metro should be of interest to districts that seek to significantly increase the number of students who graduate from high school and are prepared to succeed in college.

     Also available from Metro Early College High School are a course syllabus and overviews for two units, all from Cory Neugebauer’s 2010-11 Integrated World Studies course for second-year students. These documents provide concrete examples of the assessment structure for high school courses, how questions are framed, and how Metro sees STEM as a disposition toward learning, not confined to certain disciplines.
      The course syllabus includes: essential questions/understandings; social science goals through the lens of Metro Habits; a description of foundation and mastery assignments; and the protocol for revising work and recovering credit if mastery is not achieved.
      The overview sheet for each unit includes unit goals—by content, skill, and essential question or theme—as well as a list of the foundation assignments and that unit’s mastery assessment. Posted here are the assignment sheets for “Unit 3: A People’s HiSTORY: Social Movements of the 20th Century” and “Unit 4: Our World: The Globalizing 21st Century".



Early College Design Services for School Districts (2011)

Jobs for the Future helps districts significantly increase the number of students who graduate from high school and are prepared to succeed in postsecondary education. JFF provides districts with training, tools, and advice that transform schools serving young people underrepresented in higher education: low-income youth, English language learners, and first-generation college-goers. Districts substantially increase the number of high school students who complete two or more college-level courses in core subjects, demonstrating that they are well prepared to succeed in further education. Our services include:

  • Instructional and leadership coaching. JFF’s field-tested instructional model and coaching program accelerates learning among underperforming students so they tackle and master college material.
  • School design and development. For each partner district, JFF designs a flexible portfolio of Early College Design schools that lead to college-ready graduation. These can include dual enrollment for all, rigorous career and technical education, STEM preparation, and dropout recovery options.
  • District capacity-building. JFF helps districts assess their strengths and identify areas of need. We then work with these districts to create and sustain strategic plans, develop strong postsecondary partnerships, and use data to support and promote change.


For more information on how Early College Designs can help your district or state, please contact Dr. LaVonne Sheffield, lsheffield@jff.org, 617.728.4446.



Early College High School Initiative Benchmarks: 12 Months Prior to School Opening (2005)

This school-planning tool guides partners through the year prior to starting an early college high school. It provides guiding questions at each stage of development, as well as important steps to accomplish over a 12-month planning period.


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Early College High School Initiative Core Principles (2008)

Over the last year, the 13 founding intermediary organizations of the Early College High School Initiative and their partners, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Jobs for the Future, reaffirmed and refined the core principles underlying the initiative. All early college schools adhere to these five principles, which together constitute the fundamental beliefs of the initiative. Although all early college schools embrace these essential characteristics, they use a wide range of strategies for attaining them and for meeting the specific needs of their students, communities, and institutional partners.



ECHS Benchmarks: Diagnostic Tool (2005)

These two tools, one for schools in a planning phase and one for schools in an implementing phase, are based on Benchmarks for Early College High Schools. Intermediaries, school leaders, postsecondary partners, and faculty can use each as a self-assessment, planning, and teaching tool.



Establishing a High School on a College Campus (2004)

This decision tool, prepared by Edvantia, is designed to guide users through critical steps for planning a high school on a college campus. Steps include assessing the foundation, engaging partners in planning, designing the program of study, planning the budget, recruiting and selecting students, and charting progress. The tool also provides brief introductions to the case studies and research on which it is based.


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Financing Early College for Native Youth (2005)

This document describes the financial implications of the first five years of a hypothetical early college of 300 students in grades 9-13. In this model, early colleges are typically high schools located on reservations. This document’s purpose is to explain what we have learned to date about the costs of the early college model so that sites can make informed decisions about the financial requirements to sustain their schools. This analysis is a work in progress.



Hidalgo Early College District Toolkit (2012)

Thad Nodine, Jill Frankfort, Cecilia Le, October 2011


As school districts nationwide seek ways to increase the college and career readiness of all their students, one district—Hidalgo, Texas—has established a proven model for success. Nationally recognized for its innovative approaches and strong results, Hidalgo is a small, rural, primarily Hispanic school district in South Texas where every student earns college credits before graduating from high school.

After two years of collaboration with Hidalgo, Jobs for the Future is sharing the district's knowledge about what it takes to create college opportunity for all through an online toolkit.

The Hidalgo Early College District Toolkit describes how the district built this “early college for all” model with key partners, including the Texas High School Project, the Texas Education Agency, Communities Foundation of Texas, University of Texas-Pan American, Texas State Technical College, South Texas College, and the Region One Education Service Center. The toolkit offers concrete lessons, strategies, and examples that other districts may adopt or adapt for their students’ benefit as well.



New Approaches, New Solutions (2006)

This inspiring story in Agenda, published by the National Conference of La Raza, focuses on the George I. Sanchez Charter High School. Operated by the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans, the school is one of nearly 100 Latino-serving charter and alternative schools throughout the country in the NCLR Affiliate Network. The story is one of perseverance, goals, and the support needed to accomplish those.


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Resources for Intermediaries: Developing a Budget for Early College (2007)

Jobs for the Future prepared this resource to help intermediaries in planning to meet the financial and budgetary needs of early college high schools. The document includes general information and key considerations that may be useful to intermediaries as they begin to identify potential revenue sources. Included are strategies for gathering the information necessary for effective budgeting, as well as potential sources of funding. An Early College High School Budget Planning Template is provided to help think through revenues and expenditures. This resource is intended as background to help intermediaries facilitate discussions and budget planning with local community, school, and higher education partners.



Resources for Intermediaries: MOUs and Agreements (2004)

This resource packet is designed to assist intermediaries in planning and negotiating Memoranda of Understandings/Agreements that spell out the relationships between early college high schools and their partner organizations. Selected sample MOUs/Agreements may be used as references or adapted in developing local agreements that specify expectations for the roles that schools, school districts, and postsecondary institutions will play in an early college high school.



What is the Cost of Planning and Implementing Early College High Schools (2004)

By Michael Webb
For early college high schools to be sustainable, we need to better understand the costs structures of early college models and identify those that have long-range potential. This pilot study was designed to begin answering three questions: What are reasonable costs and funding streams for planning and implementing various early college high school designs? How do early college high school costs differ from those for traditional high schools? How do projected revenues and costs for planning and full implementation vary across early college high school designs? The study is based on budgets from six
existing and planned early college high schools.

 


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Early College: Policy Issues


A Policymaker’s Guide to Early College Designs: Expanding a Strategy for Achieving College Readiness for All (2010) (2012)


Add and Subtract: Dual Enrollment as a State Strategy to Increase Postsecondary Success for Underrepresented Students (2005)

By Nancy Hoffman

This policy primer for states provides an overview of dual enrollment, a rationale for its expansion, and guidelines (including funding models) for states wishing to implement dual enrollment for a wider range of students. Brief case studies highlight substantial dual enrollment programs that serve a wide range of students and offer lessons for an expanded mission for dual enrollment.



By the Numbers: State Goals for Increasing Postsecondary Attainment (2006)

JFF’s Michael Collins addresses an important state-level approach to assessing—and increasing—the value of public higher education: setting and publicizing clear, numerical goals for expanding student access and success. His report is based on JFF’s 50-state survey of state higher education plans. Early college high school intermediaries may find the results informative and useful in their advocacy efforts with state policymakers.


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College and Career Readiness for All Texas High School Graduates (2009)

This brief explains how Texas can implement a college-ready curriculum for all students, while preparing them for careers with advancement prospects and future academic success in two-year, four-year, and technical colleges. It shows how the state can endorse career and technical education for high school students without embracing a two-tiered diploma system that sets lower expectations for one group of students and college-ready expectations for others. To do so, it describes the educational model of Hidalgo Early College High School, a promising and potentially replicable example of how it is possible to wed the goals of college readiness with high-quality career and technical education. This school’s adoption of an early college design in 2006, through the Texas High School Project, accelerated a more-than-decade-long effort by Hidalgo ISD to promote college and career readiness.

      JFF prepared this issue brief for the Communities Foundation of Texas, which manages the Texas High School Project’s philanthropic investments. Texas High School Project Executive Director John Fitzpatrick testified before the Texas Senate and House committees on education regarding SB3/HB3 and submitted this brief as written testimony.



Creating and Sustaining Early College High Schools: State Policies that Support 9-14 Education (2006)

By Joel Vargas
Writing in the December issue of The State Education Standard, published by the National Association of State Boards of Education, JFF’s Joel Vargas discusses the secondary-postsecondary alignment issues that the Early College High School Initiative has brought into the spotlight. He makes the case for policy changes that not only support early college high schools but also can improve the transition of all students from high school through college. Other articles in this issue, which focuses on “Reforming America’s High Schools,” will be of interest to early college high school developers including, “Preparing All Young People for College, Work, and Citizenship,” by Stefanie Sanford; “High Standards and High Graduation Rates,” by Alissa Peltzmann and Craig Jerald; and “The Vital Role of State Policy in Education Reform,” by Scott Plamer, Amy Starzynski, and Jonathan Furr.



Integrating Grades 9-14: State Policies to Support and Sustain Early College High Schools (2005)

By Nancy Hoffman and Joel Vargas

This JFF issue brief looks at the new and complex policy and finance issues raised by efforts to better integrate the secondary and postsecondary pipeline. It focuses on policy areas most relevant to the development of early college high schools: dual enrollment/dual credit, eligibility for college courses, transfer, teacher certification, funding, and autonomy. For each policy area, it points to policy changes that would benefit early college high schools and advance the agenda of creating seamless K-16 system.


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Lessons from the Lone Star State: Designing a Sustainable Financial Model to Expand Early College High School in Texas (2009)

 Texas is a national leader in creating early college high schools, an innovative small school model that blends secondary and postsecondary education with intensive supports to increase college readiness and success for underachieving students. The state has 29 early college schools, with more opening in the 2008-2009 academic year, thanks largely to state’s education reforms favorable to their development. 
 


Texas leaders hope to further expand the model, using it as a priority strategy to boost college success rates. JFF’s Susan Goldberger and Janet Santos detail the efforts of El Paso Community College, South Texas College, and their partners to build regional clusters of early college high schools. Their experiences highlight important lessons about how to make the most of a state’s public policy environment to create, sustain, and expand early college schools.

View Executive Summary

 



Postcards from the Margin: A National Dialogue on Accelerating Learning (2006)

By Travis Reindl

In June 2006, approximately 250 stakeholders—elected leaders, educators, researchers, and foundation officials—assembled in Atlanta for a first-of-its-kind gathering on accelerated learning. Accelerated Learning: Shaping Public Policy to Serve Underrepresented Youth, sponsored by Jobs for the Future and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, marked an important evolutionary step for this adaptive innovation, connecting often disconnected conversations and providing a venue to identify and debate key issues and catalyze further research. Postcards from the Margin is a summary and analysis of the forum.



Return on Investment in Early College High Schools (2006)

Augenblick, Palaich, & Associates, Inc.

Jobs for the Future commissioned the development of a financial analysis model for calculating the “ROI”—return on investment—for early college high schools. The model, created by Augenblick, Palaich, & Associates, Inc., http://www.apaconsulting.net indicates that young people and their families would recognize significant advantages in terms of savings on college tuition and increased lifetime earning from attending early college high schools, where students graduate with a high school diploma and also an Associate’s degree or up to two years of college credit toward a Bachelor’s degree. In addition, states would recover their financial investment in these schools in terms of higher educational attainment for young people, increased earnings, and a longer working life for graduates—and hence increased future tax revenues.


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Smoothing the Path: Changing State Policies to Support Early College High School—Case Studies from Georgia, Ohio, Texas, and Utah (2006)

By Joel Vargas and Erika McKnight

Smoothing the Path describes successful state-level strategies and policy lessons learned in four states during the development of schools that integrate secondary and postsecondary education. It builds on an earlier JFF study, Integrating Grades 9-14: Policies to Support Early College High Schools,  that identified barriers to implementing these innovative schools. Statewide efforts in the multi-year Early College High School Initiative, which began in Ohio and Utah in 2002 and in Texas and Georgia in 2004, show how the barriers are being addressed.



State Dual Enrollment Policies: Addressing Access and Quality (2005)

By Melinda Mechur Karp, Thomas R. Bailey, Katherine L. Hughes, and Baranda J. Fermin

This report from the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, explores the regulatory landscape of dual enrollment by analyzing and summarizing dual enrollment legislation in all 50 states. It also explores the implications of state policy for individual programs and students, the ways that policies can promote or inhibit the spread of dual enrollment programs, and the many choices inherent in creating dual enrollment policies.



The College Ladder and Dual Enrollment: Discussion at American Youth Policy Forum (2006)

In October, the American Youth Policy Forum hosted a small group of national and federal policy organizations to discuss The College Ladder,  a compendium describing schools, programs, and policies that link secondary and postsecondary education to help students earn college credit or take college-level courses while in high school. The report includes a section on middle and early colleges, as well as references to two Early College High School Initiative partners, Gateway to College and the Middle College National Consortium. Nancy Hoffman and Joel Vargas spoke about JFF’s recent research and lessons learned from working with states on the design of dual enrollment policies and programs.


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Early College: Research and Evaluations


A Better 9th Grade: Early Results from an Experimental Study of the Early College High School Model (2011) This report by the SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro presents positive results from an experimental design study of early college schools in North Carolina.

AIR/SRI Evaluations of the Early College High School Initiative (2007)

Prepared by the American Institutes for Research and SRI International, the annual evaluation report on the Early College High School Initiative focuses on the development of the initiative as a whole, with particular focus on a random sample of early college high schools.  The evaluation is based on surveys, interviews, and site visit data. The interim reports are available here:

Early College High School Initiative Evaluation Year End Report: 2003-2004 (2005)

Early College High School Initiative: Intermediary Summary Report: 2003-2004 (2004)

Early College High School Initiative Evaluation Year End Report: 2003-2005 (2006)

Early College High School Initiative Evaluation Year End Report: 2003-2006 (2007)

Early College High School Initiative Evaluation, 2003-2006, Summary (2007)

Fifth Annual Early College High School Initiative Evaluation Synthesis Report:2009

Six Years and Counting: The ECHS Matures (2011)

 



Early College English and Math Instruction that Leads to Success in College (2010). (2012)

This report by the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching (NCREST) presents the results of a study commissioned by Jobs for the Future, to look at how early college schools are preparing students for non-remedial college English and math courses.
 


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Early College Graduates: Adapting, Thriving, and Leading in College (2011)

By Michael Nakkula

In 2003, JFF funded a research team from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to lead a longitudinal qualitative study on the experiences of students at two start-up early college high schools: Wallis Annenberg High School in Los Angeles and the Dayton Early College Academy in Dayton, Ohio. Led by Dr. Michael Nakkula, now at the University of Pennsylvania, the researchers followed the students from their ninth-grade year through their second year of college, delving into the students’ experiences as well as what these experiences can teach us about the impact of early colleges.

     This brief summarizes the study’s Year 5 report, which explores the extent to which the structures and supports provided by the early college experience help students as they move beyond early college high school and into college. Through interviews with 43 graduates of these two schools, most in their second year of college, the researchers found that early colleges appear to play a central role in the development of students’ academic identity.

 



Encouraging and Evaluating the Engagement of Early College High Schools with Communities and Higher Education Institutions (2005)

Jobs for the Future received funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support the work of building and evaluating partnerships among early college high schools and their community and higher education partners. This report addresses several key research questions: What are the high school and college components and areas of collaboration required for students to successfully complete a dual degree? What do these components look like in operation? What factors are essential for students’ successful completion of the program within and across schools? How does participation in the program affect diverse students’ sense of efficacy, future aspirations and ambitions, and academic performance? What role does community engagement play in the program’s development and in the achievement of its goals? What state policies support and inhibit program development and student achievement?



Encouraging and Evaluating the Engagement of ECHS with Communities and Higher Education Institutions (2004)

JFF’s Annual Report to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation describes JFF-supported activities for the Early College High School Initiative during 2003-2004. The report focuses on the activities and products funded by the foundation, including: case studies comparing the strategies, activities, and outcomes of initiative intermediaries; case studies of early college high schools; development of a Student Information System; facilitation of a peer learning network among intermediaries and schools; development and dissemination of tools and resources; and development of school-wide literacy models in early college high schools.


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Evaluation of the Early College High School Initiative: Impact Study Overview (2011)

Since 2002, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has funded a groundbreaking initiative designed to improve the college readiness and college completion rates of students underrepresented in postsecondary education. The Early College High School Initiative funds the development of  schools that provide students the opportunity to simultaneously pursue a high school diploma and earn college credits. AIR evaluates the initiative using qualitative data (e.g., interviews with grantees and site visits to schools) and quantitative data (e.g., surveys of students and collection of school data). The evaluation documents and describes the implementation of this initiative and the performance of students, particularly in comparison to other students.



Evaluation of the Texas High School Project (2011)

This report is the second comprehensive annual report of the Texas High School Project evaluation. The evaluation encompasses the multiple high school reform grant programs under THSP, assessing the implementation and impact on student performance of grantees that first began reforms from 2006–07 through 2009–10.



SERVE Center Experimental Study Shows Power of Early College Design (2010)

 

To increase the number of students graduating from high school prepared for college, North Carolina has established the largest number of early college high schools (in the United States. According to ninth-grade results from a rigorous, experimental study, North Carolina’s early college high schools are creating more positive school environments for students resulting in improved attendance, reduced suspensions, and increased numbers of students on-track for college. These schools are also successfully expanding the initial part of the college preparatory pipeline for students of all backgrounds.The study is a collaborative effort led by SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, working with the North Carolina New Schools Project, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Duke University, Abt Associates, and RTI International.


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Six Years and Counting: The ECHSI Matures (2011)

Fifth Annual Early College High School Initiative Evaluation Synthesis Report



White Paper. Supporting College Readiness through Action Research (April 2010) (2012) Bethany Rogers and Elisabeth Barnett of the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching (NCREST), report on the Action Research Project, sponsored by Jobs For the Future and describe lessons learned about engaging faculty in researching and addressing school challenges.

“They try their best here to keep you”: Lessons Learned from a Study of Early College High School Leavers (2010). (2012) This report by the SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching (NCREST) presents the results of a study commissioned by Jobs for the Future, to look at the reasons why students leave early college schools.
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Related Resources


Addressing America’s Dropout Challenge: State Efforts to Boost Graduation Rates Require Federal Support (2006)

This report, from JFF and the Center for American Progress, delineates the vital role that Congress can play in closing the high school graduation gap. It calls upon Congress to enact the Graduation Promise Act of 2007. This act would: establish a federal commitment to partner with states, districts, and schools to raise graduation rates; seed and scale up effective policies, strategies, and school designs for keeping high school-aged students in school and achieving at a high level of academic performance; and immediately put proven strategies to use in the worst-performing high schools.



America’s Perfect Storm: Three Forces Changing Our Nation's Future (2007)

This Educational Testing Service reports looks at the convergence of three powerful sociological and economical forces that are changing the nation’s future: substantial disparities in skill levels (reading and math), seismic economic changes (widening wage gaps), and sweeping demographic shifts (less education, lower skills).



Betraying the College Dream: How Disconnected K-12 and Postsecondary Education Systems Undermine Student Aspirations (2004)

By Andrea Venezia, Michael W. Kirst, and Anthony L. Antonio

More U.S. high school students plan to go to college than ever before, but many are set up to fail, according to the findings of six years of research by the Bridge Project at Stanford University. These barriers and mixed messages can be traced to the wide chasm separating K-12 and postsecondary education systems. States have created unnecessary and detrimental barriers between high school and college, undermining students’ aspirations and sending students, parents, and K-12 educators conflicting and vague messages about what students need to know and be able to do to enter and succeed in college.


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Changing Systems to Personalize Learning (2003)

This series of four publications, developed by the Education Alliance at Brown University, provides teachers and school leaders with concrete suggestions and hands-on professional activities to personalize learning in high schools. The guides describe workshop activities that can be adopted by teams of educators as they study and revise a school’s systems and daily practices.

  • Introduction to the Personalization Workshops, by John Clarke, provides background information on changing systems (from schedules to curriculum) that support more personalized environments for teaching and learning. This volume introduces a series of six workshops to assist educators in the process of personalization.
  • Personalized Learning, by John Clarke, focuses on getting students involved in designing their own learning pathway by using Personal Learning Plans and Student Presentations.
  • The Power of Advisories, by Debbie Osofsky, Gregg Sinner, and Denise Wolk, illustrates ways to introduce an adult advocate into the life of every student to help guide student planning, learning, and assessment.
  • Teaching to Each Student, by Dale Worsley, describes teaching methods that allow students with different skills, aspirations, and interests to succeed in meeting standards.


Dollars and Sense: The Cost Effectiveness of Small Schools (2002)

By Barbara Kent Lawrence, Steven Bingler, Barbara M. Diamond, Bobby Hall, Jerry L. Hoffman, Craig B. Howley, Stacey Mitchell, David Rudolph, Eliot Washor

Even though people may appreciate the benefits of small schools, too many think that the cost of such schools is prohibitive. This report from KnowledgeWorks Foundation, Concordia, LLC, and Rural School and Community Trust addresses two fundamental questions: can small schools be built cost effectively, and has anyone done so? Using data drawn from 489 schools submitted to design competitions in 1990-2001, it answers both questions and summarizes research on the educational and social benefits of small schools.



ECS Compendium on Early College (2007)

The Education Commission of the States has launched a compendium to Early College and Middle College. Still in development, this online resource features several publications from the ECHS Initiative.


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Four Building Blocks for a System of Educational Opportunity: Developing Pathways to and through College for Urban Youth (2003)

By Adria Steinberg, Cheryl A. Almeida, Lili Allen, and Susan Goldberger

The promise to “leave no child behind” can only be realized by moving beyond the limitations of current policies and institutions. Hence, the demand grows for learning environments that are effective and efficient in getting young people onto pathways to economic self-sufficiency and active citizenship. Drawing on JFF’s From the Margins to the Mainstream Initiative, this report identifies four building blocks for a system of educational opportunity—and propose strategies for improving and expanding effective learning environments.



Pathways to College Access and Success (2005)

By Katherine L. Hughes, Melinda Mechur Karp, Baranda J. Fermin, and Thomas R. Bailey

This final report of a two-year study for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education looks at the ways that credit-based transition programs may help middle- and low-achieving students enter and succeed in college. The report contains case studies of credit-based transition programs such as Tech-Prep, dual/concurrent enrollment, International Baccalaureate, and Middle College High School in five states: California, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, and Texas. It highlights promising practices to help students who might have been considered non-college-bound prepare for college-credit course work.



Reclaiming the American Dream (2006)

What kinds of supports make the greatest difference in helping low-income youth prepare for and complete a college degree? To find answers, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation engaged the Bridgespan Group to analyze data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study. The Bridgespan report is accompanied by six commentaries from leaders in the field.


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Rethinking High Schools (2004)

by Tracy A. Huebner and Grace Calisi Corbett

This report from WestEd profiles five schools that received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: TechBoston Academy (Boston), Dayton Early College Academy (Dayton, Ohio), Chicago International Charter School Northtown Academy (Chicago), Arrupe Jesuit High School (Denver) and High Tech High (San Diego). It showcases their innovative educational approaches and highlights the progress being made. These are five different model high schools, with various methods of reaching the same goal: increasing graduation and college-readiness rates for all students.



Small Schools Project (2007)

The Small Schools Project provides support and assistance to K-12 schools in Washington State and nationally that have received reinvention grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project works with both new small schools and those created by redesigning large comprehensive high schools into smaller, autonomous ones. The project’s Web site shares current knowledge about the development of small schools and hands-on tools for teachers, principals, administrators, parents and community members who are part of a small school or want to start one. Web-based resources draw upon the experience of schools in Washington state and nationally to guide school stakeholders through the tricky issues of new school design and/or conversion.



The First Year Experience: Are We Making it Any Better? (2002)

By Betsy O. Barefoot

As higher education has turned its attention to first-year students, colleges and universities have put in place numerous freshman programs, from small seminars to full-fledged, first-year courses. How close are we to achieving our goal of truly improving the first year? The author draws on research conducted by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition to describe those student experiences that highly correlate with success in the first year of college, highlight factors that inhibit more coherent and sustainable program development, and pose tough questions for educators and institutions to consider moving forward.


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Early College: Data and Statistics


Early College High School Initiative Student Information System (SIS) (2012) The SIS is a secure, web-based platform containing data and analysis for early college schools. The Annual Survey section on the log-in page links to a series of publicly-available charts containing data and statistics for schools based on the 2010-2011 Annual Integrated Survey.

Click here to view SIS web site.


Early College High Schools (2007)

Since 2002, the partner organizations of the Early College High School Initiative have started or redesigned over 160 schools in 24 states. Through the initiative's continued efforts, the partners will ultimately open about 250 small schools , serving over 100,000 students annually.

Click here to view the list of schools

Click here to download the list of schools.



Portrait in Numbers (2011) (2010)

This four-page summary provides the most current data on the growth and impact of the Early College High School Initiative, including data on the schools' impact on students, descriptions of the various types of early college schools, and much more.  


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Student Information System Annual Survey link (2012)



Related Resources


Addressing America’s Dropout Challenge: State Efforts to Boost Graduation Rates Require Federal Support (2006)

This report, from JFF and the Center for American Progress, delineates the vital role that Congress can play in closing the high school graduation gap. It calls upon Congress to enact the Graduation Promise Act of 2007. This act would: establish a federal commitment to partner with states, districts, and schools to raise graduation rates; seed and scale up effective policies, strategies, and school designs for keeping high school-aged students in school and achieving at a high level of academic performance; and immediately put proven strategies to use in the worst-performing high schools.



America’s Perfect Storm: Three Forces Changing Our Nation's Future (2007)

This Educational Testing Service reports looks at the convergence of three powerful sociological and economical forces that are changing the nation’s future: substantial disparities in skill levels (reading and math), seismic economic changes (widening wage gaps), and sweeping demographic shifts (less education, lower skills).



Betraying the College Dream: How Disconnected K-12 and Postsecondary Education Systems Undermine Student Aspirations (2004)

By Andrea Venezia, Michael W. Kirst, and Anthony L. Antonio

More U.S. high school students plan to go to college than ever before, but many are set up to fail, according to the findings of six years of research by the Bridge Project at Stanford University. These barriers and mixed messages can be traced to the wide chasm separating K-12 and postsecondary education systems. States have created unnecessary and detrimental barriers between high school and college, undermining students’ aspirations and sending students, parents, and K-12 educators conflicting and vague messages about what students need to know and be able to do to enter and succeed in college.


back to top



Changing Systems to Personalize Learning (2003)

This series of four publications, developed by the Education Alliance at Brown University, provides teachers and school leaders with concrete suggestions and hands-on professional activities to personalize learning in high schools. The guides describe workshop activities that can be adopted by teams of educators as they study and revise a school’s systems and daily practices.

  • Introduction to the Personalization Workshops, by John Clarke, provides background information on changing systems (from schedules to curriculum) that support more personalized environments for teaching and learning. This volume introduces a series of six workshops to assist educators in the process of personalization.
  • Personalized Learning, by John Clarke, focuses on getting students involved in designing their own learning pathway by using Personal Learning Plans and Student Presentations.
  • The Power of Advisories, by Debbie Osofsky, Gregg Sinner, and Denise Wolk, illustrates ways to introduce an adult advocate into the life of every student to help guide student planning, learning, and assessment.
  • Teaching to Each Student, by Dale Worsley, describes teaching methods that allow students with different skills, aspirations, and interests to succeed in meeting standards.


Dollars and Sense: The Cost Effectiveness of Small Schools (2002)

By Barbara Kent Lawrence, Steven Bingler, Barbara M. Diamond, Bobby Hall, Jerry L. Hoffman, Craig B. Howley, Stacey Mitchell, David Rudolph, Eliot Washor

Even though people may appreciate the benefits of small schools, too many think that the cost of such schools is prohibitive. This report from KnowledgeWorks Foundation, Concordia, LLC, and Rural School and Community Trust addresses two fundamental questions: can small schools be built cost effectively, and has anyone done so? Using data drawn from 489 schools submitted to design competitions in 1990-2001, it answers both questions and summarizes research on the educational and social benefits of small schools.



ECS Compendium on Early College (2007)

The Education Commission of the States has launched a compendium to Early College and Middle College. Still in development, this online resource features several publications from the ECHS Initiative.


back to top



Four Building Blocks for a System of Educational Opportunity: Developing Pathways to and through College for Urban Youth (2003)

By Adria Steinberg, Cheryl A. Almeida, Lili Allen, and Susan Goldberger

The promise to “leave no child behind” can only be realized by moving beyond the limitations of current policies and institutions. Hence, the demand grows for learning environments that are effective and efficient in getting young people onto pathways to economic self-sufficiency and active citizenship. Drawing on JFF’s From the Margins to the Mainstream Initiative, this report identifies four building blocks for a system of educational opportunity—and propose strategies for improving and expanding effective learning environments.



Pathways to College Access and Success (2005)

By Katherine L. Hughes, Melinda Mechur Karp, Baranda J. Fermin, and Thomas R. Bailey

This final report of a two-year study for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education looks at the ways that credit-based transition programs may help middle- and low-achieving students enter and succeed in college. The report contains case studies of credit-based transition programs such as Tech-Prep, dual/concurrent enrollment, International Baccalaureate, and Middle College High School in five states: California, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, and Texas. It highlights promising practices to help students who might have been considered non-college-bound prepare for college-credit course work.



Reclaiming the American Dream (2006)

What kinds of supports make the greatest difference in helping low-income youth prepare for and complete a college degree? To find answers, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation engaged the Bridgespan Group to analyze data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study. The Bridgespan report is accompanied by six commentaries from leaders in the field.


back to top



Rethinking High Schools (2004)

by Tracy A. Huebner and Grace Calisi Corbett

This report from WestEd profiles five schools that received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: TechBoston Academy (Boston), Dayton Early College Academy (Dayton, Ohio), Chicago International Charter School Northtown Academy (Chicago), Arrupe Jesuit High School (Denver) and High Tech High (San Diego). It showcases their innovative educational approaches and highlights the progress being made. These are five different model high schools, with various methods of reaching the same goal: increasing graduation and college-readiness rates for all students.



Small Schools Project (2007)

The Small Schools Project provides support and assistance to K-12 schools in Washington State and nationally that have received reinvention grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project works with both new small schools and those created by redesigning large comprehensive high schools into smaller, autonomous ones. The project’s Web site shares current knowledge about the development of small schools and hands-on tools for teachers, principals, administrators, parents and community members who are part of a small school or want to start one. Web-based resources draw upon the experience of schools in Washington state and nationally to guide school stakeholders through the tricky issues of new school design and/or conversion.



The First Year Experience: Are We Making it Any Better? (2002)

By Betsy O. Barefoot

As higher education has turned its attention to first-year students, colleges and universities have put in place numerous freshman programs, from small seminars to full-fledged, first-year courses. How close are we to achieving our goal of truly improving the first year? The author draws on research conducted by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition to describe those student experiences that highly correlate with success in the first year of college, highlight factors that inhibit more coherent and sustainable program development, and pose tough questions for educators and institutions to consider moving forward.


back to top